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Rajasthan bypolls peaceful, two LS seats see 62-65% voting

In 2014 elections, Ajmer had registered 68.65 per cent voting, Alwar 65.50 per cent, while Mandalgarh had witnessed 82 per cent voting in 2013 Assembly elections.

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Jaipur, Jan 30 (IANS) Voting in bypolls for Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha constituencies and Mandalgarh Assembly seat in Rajasthan was held peacefully on Monday, with the parliamentary seats witnessing between 62 and 56 per cent polling.

According to Chief Election Officer Ashwini Bhagat, Ajmer registered 65.20 per cent voting, Alwar had 61.86 and Mandalgarh saw 78.78 per cent polling.

In 2014 elections, Ajmer had registered 68.65 per cent voting, Alwar 65.50 per cent, while Mandalgarh had witnessed 82 per cent voting in 2013 Assembly elections.

A total of 23 candidates are in fray in Ajmer, 11 in Alwar and eight in Mandalgarh.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and opposition Congress are involved in a direct contest in Ajmer and Alwar. In Mandalgarh, BJP’s Shakti Singh Hada, Congress’ Vivek Dhaka and Independent Gopal Malviya are said to be in contention.

All three seats were held by the BJP when they fell vacant after the death of sitting lawmakers. Ajmer MP Sanwar Lal Jat passed away on August 9 last year, while Alwar MP Mahant Chand Nath died on September 17 following prolonged illness. BJP’s Mandalgarh MLA Kirti Kumari died of swine flu on August 28, 2017.

The Election Commission had deputed 12,000 securitymen in three constituencies to ensure free and peaceful elections.

Webcasting was organised at 313 polling booths and 476 micro observers were deployed for the by-elections.

A technical error in an electronic voting machine in Kekadi village was reported, due to which voting was stopped for some time.

In Keladi’s Manda, villagers boycotted polling to protest inadequate water supply. They also rued that their village roads were in bad condition.

Dense fog in Alwar resulted in a low turnout in the beginning of polling, but it picked up after 9.30 a.m. Voting percentage witnessed further increase after noon in all the three constituencies as voters in large numbers came out to vote.

The results will be declared on February 1.

According to the Election Commission, 4,194 polling booths were set up in the three constituencies.

Around 39 lakh persons were eligible to vote in these elections. While Alwar has a total of 18.27 lakh voters, Ajmer has 18.43 lakh voters, and Mandalgarh 2.31 lakh voters.

For the first time, EVMs with photos of candidates were provided to avoid confusion among voters regarding candidates with similar names.

The elections will be a litmus test for the state’s BJP government, facing an uphill battle as the Rajput community has openly announced support for the Congress in all three seats.

Caste equations are playing a major role in these bypolls. Two Yadav stalwarts are in fray in Alwar while Jat and Brahmin candidates are in the electoral arena in Ajmer and Mandalgarh respectively.

In Ajmer, 6,000 security personnel were deployed to ensure smooth polling, while 5,000 securitymen were sent to Alwar.

Election

Former Unnao MP Annu Tandon Resigns From Congress

In a statement released to the media, Annu Tandon said that she has sent her resignation to party president Sonia Gandhi and requested her to accept it immediately.

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Annu Tandon

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Congress removed senior leader Annu Tandon from the party on Thursday shortly after she announced her resignation citing “misalignment with the state-level leadership”.

Training her gun on the state leaders, Ms Tandon said she has sent her resignation to party president Sonia Gandhi.

When asked about it, UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu said she “has been expelled from the party for six years on charges of anti-party activities”.

She had “not been taking interest in party programmes for a long time” and the disciplinary committee of the party looked into these charges, Mr Lallu added.

The development comes days ahead of the November 3 by-election in Bangarmau Assembly seat under Unnao, once represented by Tandon in Lok Sabha.

In a statement released to the media in the morning, Ms Tandon said that she has requested Sonia Gandhi to accept her resignation immediately.

While stating that she had continuously received warmth and guidance of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi during her 15-year association with the party, Ms Tandon said there is a “misalignment between the state-level leadership” and she did not see their support coming her way since the past several months.

“The state leadership of the party has focused only on social media management and self branding and is oblivious to the deep divisions in the party and the voters it has thus caused,” Ms Tandon said.

She said canards were being spread about her and her associates by the local, irrelevant, and chosen few.

Terming it both “painful and disgusting”, she said there was no attempt by the party leadership to stem this.

Ms Tandon said she had raised the matter with in-charge of UP Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had assured that the Congress president is fully apprised of the situation. However, the matter had remained unresolved.

“My ideology and principles have been aligned with the senior leadership of the party and my resignation does not change this,” she said, adding she would be consulting her workers on the future path.

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Did PM Modi have tea with you all? Rahul Gandhi asks at Champaran rally

Blaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for migrant crisis, Rahul Gandhi asked why PM Modi has stopped talking about creating employment opportunities.

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Rahul Gandhi Farmers

Addressing his election rally at Champaran, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday doubled down on BJP-JD(U) for “destroying” Bihar as polling is underway in 71 constituencies of the state in the first phase of Bihar Assembly Election 2020.

“When Prime Minister Narendra Modi came here last time he promised that a sugar factory will be set up here and he will have tea with you all. Do you remember? Did he have tea with you?” Rahul Gandhi said. The Congress leader said he was surprised to see Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s effigies getting burnt in Dussehra in Punjab. This is sad and should not happen as he is the prime minister of the country, but this how Punjab farmers feel about him, Rahul Gandhi added.

WATCH: ‘Did PM Modi have tea with you?’: Rahul Gandhi’s jibe in Bihar

“What Nitish Kumar did to Bihar in 2006, PM Modi is doing the same to Punjab and to the rest of the country,” Rahul Gandhi said referring to the three farm laws recently passed by Parliament.

Talking about Bihar’s unemployment, Rahul Gandhi said, “ Nowadays, PM Modi does not talk about jobs. Because Bihar people won’t believe in his lies anymore. Congress has been in Centre for decades. We know how to rule. But of course, we have some shortcomings. We can’t lie through our teeth.”

“Why do Bihar people have to go to other states for jobs? Do our Bihar brothers and sisters lack in anything? No, your CM and PM lack,” Rahul Gandhi said.

On Covid-19-induced lockdown, the Congress leader said, “Noteban and lockdown followed similar trends. PM Modi announced both at the last moment. Middle class and lower middle class people suffered the most, while the industrialists were cushioned.”

Rahul Gandhi will address another rally on Wednesday at Kuseshwar Sthan in Darbhanga. Earlier, he addressed two election rallies, at Hisua in Nawada and Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur, to boost the electioneering for the first phase polls.

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Bihar Election: 53.54% vote in ‘peaceful’ first phase

Due to security and logistical reasons, polling was held in some areas till 3 pm and in some areas till 4 pm while 36 seats were held till 6 pm.

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2019 Election India

Patna: A total 53.54 per cent voters exercised their franchise as polling was conducted peacefully on Wednesday in 71 assembly constituencies in Bihar for the first phase of assembly elections.

H.R. Srinivas, Chief electoral officer of Bihar said elections for the first phase were held across 16 districts including the four Naxal-affected districts of Gaya, Aurangabad, Lakhisarai and Shekhpura.

“The polling was conducted in Naxal-affected constituencies till 4 pm and 37 constituencies till 6 PM. We have allowed voters to cast their votes beyond 6 pm as they entered the polling premises. We have also extended time for some of the booths where polling was started late due to technical errors in EVM and VVPATs,” added Srinivas.

Srinivas pointed out that the polling percentage was almost similar to 2015 when the turnout was 54.57 per cent.

An official of the state Election Commission said that the first phase of polling was peaceful, with no major untoward incident reported from anywhere so far.

In the first phase of elections, 53.54 per cent voters exercised their franchise. The voter turnout was 59.57 per cent in Banka, 54.2 per cent in Bhagalpur, 47.36 in Munger, 55.44 in Lakhisarai, 55.96 per cent in Sheikhpura, 52.51 per cent in Patna and 48.29 per cent in Bhojpur.

In addition, 54.07 per cent people exercised their franchise in Buxar, 56.20 per cent in Kaimur, 49.59 per cent in Rohtas, 53.85 per cent in Arwal, 53.93 per cent in Jahanabad, 52.85 per cent in Aurangabad, 57.05 per cent in Gaya, 52.34 per cent in Nawada and 57.41 per cent in Jamui.

In the first phase, polling was held in 71 assembly constituencies spread over 16 districts of the state. According to the state election commission, 31,371 polling booths were set up for 2.14 crore voters In the first phase, 1066 candidates including 114 women are in the fray.

According to the Commission, EVMs were initially reported to have malfunctioned in several polling booths, but the glitch was later corrected. Paramilitary forces were deployed at all polling booths for the first phase of polling and special preparations were made for the corona.

Due to security and logistical reasons, polling was held in some areas till 3 pm and in some areas till 4 pm while 36 seats were held till 6 pm.

In the first phase, international shooter Shreyasi Singh from Jamui, contesting on a BJP ticket, was one of the prominent faces in the electoral fray. Other prominent candidates include BJP’s Prem Kumar, former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, Krishnandan Prasad Verma, Jai Kumar Singh, Ramnarayan Mandal, Vijay Kumar Sinha and Brij Kishore Bind, among other ministers.

Out of these 71 seats, the RJD has 25 seats while the JD(U) has 23 seats. In addition, the BJP has 13 and the Congress eight.

In Bihar, elections are being held in three phases for 243 assembly seats. Counting of votes will be held on 10th November.

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